I am going to revisit a topic I wrote on extensively throughout the years but is certainly worthy of reviewing. Sadly, it seems that most do not believe or understand the magnitude of what transpires. It is because of this that many have a tendency to put themselves in a position to be harmed in a tremendous way. As always, I will keep using this pulpit to try and spread the sane message even if few are listening.
It Starts With You
Safety is a personal job. Many feel content to turn that responsibility over to the Dom/Master. While I acknowledge that this is where it does fall, the truth is that many are not worthy of this responsibility. In other words, they do not have the skills nor makeup to operate safely. For this reason, a sub or slave needs to assume full responsibility for safety until the other person exhibits the ability to handle it. To skip this step is perilous.
I was roaming around a forum on one of the sites that is often frequented by the pretenders, wannabes, and dregs of this lifestyle. This exercise is always a reminder how difficult it is when dealing with the online world, especially for submissive women who are truly interested in learning more and going further. It is an environment that is wrought with dangers at every corner. Pain, and not the enjoyable kind, is certainly in the future for most. My hope is that it is only emotional and not something more serious. Of course, we all know the stories that end up in the papers.
One of the threads I came upon was written by a know-it-all. Naturally, the inclination is to believe this was a dominant person exhibiting his "superior knowledge" of the lifestyle. It was not. The topic was titled "I am not stupid" and was written by a female submissive who is just asking to be destroyed. Her attitude shows that she has all the answers.
The basic gist of what she wrote was how she tired she is of being told by others (older men mostly) to be careful when pursuing some of her fetishes. Without going into them specifically, she was into some things where she could be harmed greatly if not careful. Of course, the warnings of others was only met with resistance since she was convinced she researched her particular likes and knew what was going on. This "know-it-all" is a predator's dream.
It is important to remember that no matter how careful one is, the BDSM world, especially the online world, is wrought with great dangers. Even the most experienced of us are apt to get "taken" periodically because it is human nature to believe the best in people. We sincerely want to think that the person on the other end of the chat is exactly whom he or she claimed. Sadly, in more than half the instances, that isnt the case. More times than not, the person is either a fake, liar, or outright misguided. Countless stories exist representing this reality.
Therefore, when dealing with the online world, take every precaution that is mentioned. All of the suggestions that are posted are worthy. You can never be too careful.
Much is written about behaving in a safe manner when doing a scene. I will attest to the importance of physical safety in all we do. It is best to interact only with those who are knowledgeable about a particular fetish. If one is not experienced, hopefully he or she is willing to train under the guidance of someone who is. This is how one attains the proper ability to act safely.
As important as physical safety it, I believe that looking for the psychological ramifications is crucial. Too many overlook this aspect especially when they are involved with someone long term. The tendency is to get complacent and use the knowledge of the other as a means of predetermining limits for each situation based upon past results. The truth is that people vary day to day meaning that taking this path could cause a lot of pain.
I find that safety often means backing off. There is nothing wrong with taking a step back from time-to-time. What do I mean by this? As I mentioned, individuals have their good days and their bad ones. Subs/slaves have those times where they are really into a scene. It is under these circumstances where one is able to move towards or past certain limits. Of course, there are also those days where this person is not "on". Perhaps there is something emotional going on. Or it could be that mentally she has some barriers that cannot be overcome. Whatever the reason, in these instances, a dominant needs to be attentive to the fact that he or she might need to pull back. Sometimes less is more.
It is the same as exercising. We all had those times when we went into the gym and we were "on". In the end, we felt as if we had the best workout ever. At the same time, there were those days when we could not get anything accomplished at the gym. Those are the days we are "off" and basically trudge through a workout.
So what are the implications of moving forward when a sub/slave is not able to. One the surface it might not seem like a big deal. In fact, that person might be okay with what transpires. However, on a deeper level it is possible to cause damage. When one is pushed more than he or she is ready to accept on a given day, the possibility exists for things such as trust to be lost. A sub/slave needs to fell completely safe with the one serving. Betraying him/her by behaving in a manner that is contrary to one's best interest hits a person deeply. This is just one example of how being ignorant to this can affect one psychologically. Of course, there are many of things to be mindful of that I will write about in future posts.
The bottom line is that bruises heal. Cuts will close up. But when you harm someone psychologically, that has the ability to be imprinted deep in the psyche. For this reason, psychological safety needs to be at the top of every dominant's list. This is the most basic thing we need to do.
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